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1.
J Clin Tuberc Other Mycobact Dis ; 28: 100327, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1936753

ABSTRACT

Background: India's dominant private healthcare sector is the destination for 60-85% of initial tuberculosis care-seeking. The COVID-19 pandemic in India drastically affected TB case notifications in the first half of 2020. In this survey, we assessed the impact of the first wave of COVID-19 in India on private providers, and changes they adopted in their practice due to the pandemic. Methods: The Joint Effort for Elimination of TB (JEET) is a nationwide Global Fund project implemented across 406 districts in 23 states to extend quality TB services to patients seeking care in private sector. We conducted a rapid survey of 11% (2,750) of active providers engaged under JEET's intense Patient Provider Support Agency (PPSA) model across 15 Indian states in Q1 (February-March) of 2021. Providers were contacted in person or telephonically, and consenting participants were interviewed using a web-based survey tool. Responses from participants were elicited on their practice before COVID-19, during the 2020 lockdowns (March-April 2020) and currently (Q1 2021). Data were adjusted for survey design and non-response, and results were summarised using descriptive statistics and logistic regression. Results: Of the 2,750 providers sampled, 2,011 consented and were surveyed (73 % response). Nearly 50 % were between 30 and 45 years of age, and 51 % were from Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. Seventy percent of providers reported reduced daily out-patient numbers in Q1 2021 compared to pre-COVID times. During the lockdown, 898 (40 %) of providers said their facilities were closed, while 323 (11 %) offered limited services including teleconsultation. In Q1 2021, 88 % of provider facilities were fully open, with 10 % providing adjusted services, and 4 % using teleconsultation. Only 2 % remained completely closed. Majority of the providers (92 %) reported not experiencing any delays in TB testing in Q1 2021 compared to pre-COVID times. Only 6 % reported raising costs at their clinic, mostly to cover personal protective equipment (PPE) and other infection control measures, although 60-90 % implemented various infection control measures. Thirty-three percent of TB providers were ordering COVID-19 testing, in addition to TB testing.To adapt, 82% of survey providers implemented social distancing and increased timing between appointments and 83% started conducting temperature checks, with variation by state and provider type, while 89% adopted additional sanitation measures in their facilities. Furthermore, 62% of providers started using PPE, and 13% made physical changes (air filters, isolation of patient areas) to their clinic to prevent infection. Seventy percent of providers stated that infection control measures could decrease TB transmission. Conclusion: Although COVID-19 restrictions resulted in significant declines in patient turn-out at private facilities, our analysis showed that most providers were open and costs for TB care remained mostly the same in Q1 2021. As result of the COVID-19 pandemic, several positive strategies have been adapted by the private sector TB care providers. Since the subsequent COVID-19 waves were more severe or widespread, additional work is needed to assess the impact of the pandemic on the private health sector.

2.
BMJ Glob Health ; 7(6)2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1923225
5.
Lancet Respir Med ; 10(6): 603-622, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1758001

ABSTRACT

The global tuberculosis burden remains substantial, with more than 10 million people newly ill per year. Nevertheless, tuberculosis incidence has slowly declined over the past decade, and mortality has decreased by almost a third in tandem. This positive trend was abruptly reversed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which in many parts of the world has resulted in a substantial reduction in tuberculosis testing and case notifications, with an associated increase in mortality, taking global tuberculosis control back by roughly 10 years. Here, we consider points of intersection between the tuberculosis and COVID-19 pandemics, identifying wide-ranging approaches that could be taken to reverse the devastating effects of COVID-19 on tuberculosis control. We review the impact of COVID-19 at the population level on tuberculosis case detection, morbidity and mortality, and the patient-level impact, including susceptibility to disease, clinical presentation, diagnosis, management, and prognosis. We propose strategies to reverse or mitigate the deleterious effects of COVID-19 and restore tuberculosis services. Finally, we highlight research priorities and major challenges and controversies that need to be addressed to restore and advance the global response to tuberculosis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Tuberculosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Incidence , Pandemics , Tuberculosis/diagnosis , Tuberculosis/epidemiology , Tuberculosis/therapy
6.
N Engl J Med ; 386(10): 988-989, 2022 03 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1735345
7.
Med (N Y) ; 3(3): 162-166, 2022 03 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1676857

ABSTRACT

Integrated testing for TB and COVID-19 may help find those TB patients who are not accessing care in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some molecular platforms with assays for both diseases are already commercially available; however, integrated testing approaches need to be systematically evaluated to ensure their appropriate implementation.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
8.
BMJ Glob Health ; 7(1)2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1627549

ABSTRACT

The BCG vaccine is a widely given vaccine against tuberculosis (TB), yet studies on effectiveness have shown considerable heterogeneity; as a result, BCG vaccine policies vary greatly across the globe and change across geography, and with time and disease burden. The recently updated third BCG World Atlas (www.bcgatlas.org) is a publicly available online database with information on BCG practices across 194 countries. This helpful resource has been used for over 10 years to support clinicians, TB researchers and TB vaccine development worldwide. Here, we summarise main findings from the third BCG Atlas' most recent update which included additional data collected around BCG strain type, vaccine stockouts and associated changes. Longitudinal analysis enables evaluation of changes in TB incidence over time, a method becoming more common in legislation interventions. A large number of countries in the BCG Atlas (156/194 countries) maintain universal neonatal BCG vaccination, of which 51 are considered low TB burden countries. We demonstrate the majority of countries who changed their national policy moved to targeted vaccination for high-risk groups, were in Europe and also had significant decreases in TB incidence both before and after policy change. Globally, the most common BCG strain continues to be the Danish strain, despite its worldwide manufacturing interruption in 2015. Substantial variation and disproportionality exists in which regions were most affected by stockouts between 2009 and 2019. Tracking and understanding the reasoning behind changes to national BCG practices and their impact on TB burden is critical for decision makers as they contemplate how to include BCG vaccination in future immunisation guidelines in low and high TB burden countries.


Subject(s)
BCG Vaccine , Tuberculosis , Humans , Immunization , Infant, Newborn , Policy , Tuberculosis/epidemiology , Tuberculosis/prevention & control , Vaccination
11.
Science ; 374(6571): 1031, 2021 11 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1532946

ABSTRACT

Earlier this month, while the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference convened in Glasgow, countries also gathered at the Global Conference on Health and Climate Change to recognize the climate crisis as a global health crisis-a consequence of increased poverty, food and water insecurity, and infectious disease transmission, among other dangers. Unsurprisingly, both crises are worse in lower-income countries. These countries are also experiencing the greatest number of deaths and collateral damage from COVID-19.

13.
J Clin Tuberc Other Mycobact Dis ; 25: 100277, 2021 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1482694

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted health systems and health programs across the world. For tuberculosis (TB), it is predicted to set back progress by at least twelve years. Public private mix (PPM)has made a vital contribution to reach End TB targets with a ten-fold rise in TB notifications from private providers between 2012 and 2019. This is due in large part to the efforts of intermediary agencies, which aggregate demand from private providers. The COVID-19 pandemic has put these gains at risk over the past year. In this rapid assessment, representatives of 15 intermediary agencies from seven countries that are considered the highest priority for PPM in TB care (the Big Seven) share their views on the impact of COVID-19 on their programs, the private providers operating under their PPM schemes, and their private TB clients. All intermediaries reported a drop in TB testing and notifications, and the closure of some private practices. While travel restrictions and the fear of contracting COVID-19 were the main contributing factors, there were also unanticipated expenses for private providers, which were transferred to patients via increased prices. Intermediaries also had their routine activities disrupted and had to shift tasks and budgets to meet the new needs. However, the intermediaries and their partners rapidly adapted, including an increased use of digital tools, patient-centric services, and ancillary support for private providers. Despite many setbacks, the COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the importance of effective private sector engagement. The robust approach to fight COVID-19 has shown the possibilities for ending TB with a similar approach, augmented by the digital revolution around treatment and diagnostics and the push to decentralize health services.

14.
J Clin Tuberc Other Mycobact Dis ; 23: 100212, 2021 May.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1482693
15.
Nat Med ; 26(11): 1801, 2020 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1454798

ABSTRACT

An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.

16.
J Epidemiol Community Health ; 76(3): 310-316, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1430205

ABSTRACT

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused widespread disruptions to tuberculosis (TB) care and service delivery in 2020, setting back progress in the fight against TB by several years. As newer COVID-19 variants continue to devastate many low and middle-income countries in 2021, the extent of this setback is likely to increase. Despite these challenges, the TB community can draw on the comprehensive approaches used to manage COVID-19 to help restore progress and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on TB. Our team developed the 'Swiss Cheese Model for Ending TB' to illustrate that it is only through multisectoral collaborations that address the personal, societal and health system layers of care that we will end TB. In this paper, we examine how COVID-19 has impacted the different layers of TB care presented in the model and explore how we can leverage some of the lessons and outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic to strengthen the global TB response.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Tuberculosis , Humans , Pandemics , Tuberculosis/epidemiology , Tuberculosis/therapy
18.
PLoS Med ; 18(7): e1003682, 2021 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1317138

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We assessed the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) epidemic in India on the consumption of antibiotics and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in the private sector in 2020 compared to the expected level of use had the epidemic not occurred. METHODS AND FINDINGS: We performed interrupted time series (ITS) analyses of sales volumes reported in standard units (i.e., doses), collected at regular monthly intervals from January 2018 to December 2020 and obtained from IQVIA, India. As children are less prone to develop symptomatic severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, we hypothesized a predominant increase in non-child-appropriate formulation (non-CAF) sales. COVID-19-attributable changes in the level and trend of monthly sales of total antibiotics, azithromycin, and HCQ were estimated, accounting for seasonality and lockdown period where appropriate. A total of 16,290 million doses of antibiotics were sold in India in 2020, which is slightly less than the amount in 2018 and 2019. However, the proportion of non-CAF antibiotics increased from 72.5% (95% CI: 71.8% to 73.1%) in 2019 to 76.8% (95% CI: 76.2% to 77.5%) in 2020. Our ITS analyses estimated that COVID-19 likely contributed to 216.4 million (95% CI: 68.0 to 364.8 million; P = 0.008) excess doses of non-CAF antibiotics and 38.0 million (95% CI: 26.4 to 49.2 million; P < 0.001) excess doses of non-CAF azithromycin (equivalent to a minimum of 6.2 million azithromycin treatment courses) between June and September 2020, i.e., until the peak of the first epidemic wave, after which a negative change in trend was identified. In March 2020, we estimated a COVID-19-attributable change in level of +11.1 million doses (95% CI: 9.2 to 13.0 million; P < 0.001) for HCQ sales, whereas a weak negative change in monthly trend was found for this drug. Study limitations include the lack of coverage of the public healthcare sector, the inability to distinguish antibiotic and HCQ sales in inpatient versus outpatient care, and the suboptimal number of pre- and post-epidemic data points, which could have prevented an accurate adjustment for seasonal trends despite the robustness of our statistical approaches. CONCLUSIONS: A significant increase in non-CAF antibiotic sales, and particularly azithromycin, occurred during the peak phase of the first COVID-19 epidemic wave in India, indicating the need for urgent antibiotic stewardship measures.


Subject(s)
Anti-Bacterial Agents/economics , COVID-19/drug therapy , Drug Utilization/statistics & numerical data , Hydroxychloroquine/economics , Pandemics/economics , SARS-CoV-2 , Anti-Bacterial Agents/supply & distribution , Anti-Bacterial Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/economics , Commerce/statistics & numerical data , Drug Compounding , Drug Utilization/economics , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/supply & distribution , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , India , Interrupted Time Series Analysis , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data
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